The Great Wall of China is not one continuous wall but a collection of walls that were built and rebuilt starting in the 5th century BC through the 16th century by various dynasties. The “original”, most famous part of the wall was first built between 220-206 BC years ago by the Qin dynasty, yet little of that wall remains. The majority of the existing wall was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644) and that is what most tourists see today.
The wall was built to protect the Chinese Empire. Slaves, indentured servants and other poor souls from the lower peasant class were forced into constructing one of the largest, most impressive engineering projects in the world. Thousands of people died and it is said that their remains were mixed in and used as building materials in the construction of the wall. Each stone of the wall was carried by hand or on the backs of the workers over 2,000 years ago.
Although much of the physical wall has disappeared and crumbled over the centuries, the significance of the meaning of the Great Wall of China remains. Today, China’s most famous monument and architectural wonder’s symbolism prevails as China’s long-reaching might and strength tries to reign in its citizens and Hong Kong with their fight for more freedom.
I have been following the news closely as the people of Hong Kong stand up and fight for their rights. Will they be successful in achieving their simple demands for freedom? Or will the invisible Great Wall of China invade and squash all protests, putting a wall around the great Chinese empire by silencing them.
This post was inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Signs. To view more entries, click here.